There are various factors that can affect when a grant outcome is announced. We may also release outcomes under embargo so institutions can begin planning straight away.

Timing of announcements

We do not advertise grants’ announcement dates in advance because there are several points of uncertainty in timing from grant opportunity opening until public announcement that can affect the timing of a grants’ announcement.

What delays during the peer review process can affect the timing of a grants’ announcement?
  • Applicant extensions and, in limited circumstances, NHMRC extending the closing date of a grant opportunity can delay peer review commencement.
  • Reviewers requiring extensions to complete their assessments because of circumstances beyond their control.
  • NHMRC seeking additional peer reviewers to reach the target number of assessments for each application because some peer reviewers are no longer able to provide assessments or fail to respond to NHMRC’s correspondence.
What can happen after peer review to delay a grants’ announcement?
  • The funding recommendations process can only commence once all assessments are received. This process includes ensuring all quality assurance checks are completed and can take several weeks.
  • Advice sought from NHMRC Research Committee (RC) and Council:
    • Once the funding recommendations are developed, they are submitted to RC to determine whether they should be recommended to Council. Council is asked to advise whether the funding recommendations should be submitted to the Minister for approval.
    • This process can take several weeks depending on the timing of pre-scheduled meetings and the availability of Members.
  • Approval by the Minister for Health and Aged Care:
    • Once Council’s recommendation is received, NHMRC CEO submits the funding recommendations to the Minister for approval and also seeks approval to release outcomes under embargo. This allows NHMRC to release outcomes to applicants once approved, without waiting for a public announcement.
    • This process generally takes 2-3 weeks.
  • Public announcement:
    • NHMRC works closely with the Minister’s office to support the public announcement of outcomes.
    • The timing of a public announcement is dependent on many factors, such as the availability of the Minister(s), the number of grant opportunity outcomes to be announced and the approach to be taken (media release or public event).

Outcomes released under embargo

We routinely release grant outcomes to applicants and their institutions under embargo. Which means that the information must not be shared publicly until we lift the embargo. During the embargo period, applicants must not publicise the information or post comments about the grant outcomes in public domains such as social forums, websites, journals or newspapers. The embargo applies to all applicants, including those who have been unsuccessful.

Why are grant outcomes released under embargo?

Embargo ensures the public announcement of outcomes has the greatest possible impact in promoting health and medical research and researchers to the community.

NHMRC releases results under embargo as soon as possible after Ministerial approval so that applicants and institutions can plan accordingly.

What can applicants do during the embargo?

During the embargo period, applicants can share outcomes with the research team and partner organisations (where applicable) but must advise them of the embargo.

Successful applicants can prepare for the research to start on time. This includes seeking necessary approvals (for example, ethics approvals), recruiting staff and making arrangements with partner organisations. Successful applicants can add grants to their CV for review (for example, as part of a new grant application) provided they add the words 'under embargo'. 

Research projects can commence if the embargo continues past the commencement date.

Notification that an embargo is lifted

NHMRC will notify Administering Institutions through an RAO Alert when an embargo is lifted. Once this occurs, applicants may share outcomes publicly.